What To Do: Mushroom Fest, Chadds Ford Days

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Plus: two brew fests, the Brandywine Festival of the Arts and more

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

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Featuring parades, music — and yes food, much of it revolving around the beloved mushroom — are all just a part of this year’s Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square.

There is a good reason that Kennett Square is called “The Mushroom Capital of the World.” The saying — “There’s a fungus among us” — has been applicable to the Kennett Square area for a long, long time.

Kennett Square and its surrounding area has long staked claim to being one of the top mushroom growing areas in the nation. Pennsylvania produces almost 75 per cent of all the mushrooms grown in America. More than 50 per cent of the state’s mushrooms come from southern Chester County.

The mushroom and the mushroom-growing industry in the area is celebrated by Kennett Square each year when it presents its ultra-popular annual Mushroom Festival (various locations in Kennett Square and surrounding area, 610-925-3373, www.mushroomfestival.org).

This year, the Mushroom Festival, which is scheduled for September 6 and 7, is celebrating its 29th anniversary with a number of special events. State Street becomes “Mushroom Boulevard” for two days and hosts a street festival with over 200 vendors.

It will be held from 3-10 p.m. on September 6 and 1-6 p.m. on September 7. Admission is $2 for anyone age 12 or older. The Mushroom Festival is a rain or shine event. In severe weather some events may be canceled or rescheduled. Updates, when possible, will be made to the website.

The festival officially runs on Saturday and Sunday but events actually get underway on September 5 with a “Community Parade,” which has a 6 p.m. kick-off at Willow and State streets, and an event that is billed as “Dining and Dancing in the Streets.” The 2014 Old Fashioned Carnival, which takes place on the Genesis parking lot, runs Friday from 6-10 p.m., Saturday from 3-10 p.m. and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.

The long list of activities includes “Amateur Mushroom Appetizer Cook-Off,” children’s entertainment and street fair rides, an “Antique and Classic Car Show,” farm tours, a “Mushroom Growers Exhibit” (including mushroom harvesting demonstrations), a “Culinary Tent,” a 5K “Mushroom Run” and two-mile “Mushroom Walk,” a “Painted Mushroom Silent Auction,” the “Cute-As-A-Button Baby Photo Contest,” the “Soup and Wine Fest,” a “Remote Control Air Show”, a “Mushroom Judging Contest” and the “Fried Mushroom Eating World Record Contest.”

The Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) is hosting a special concert in conjunction with this weekend’s Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square.

On September 6 at the festival’s Main Tent, The Flash is presenting “Lights Out — A Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons…the Music of the Jersey Boys.” Doors open at 7 p.m., show time is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $30.

“VIP/Meet and Greet Tickets” are available for $45. The activity, which runs from 6:30-7 p.m. includes finger food, refreshments, a meet-and-greet session with the musicians and table seating in the VIP section in front of the stage.  Food and refreshment will be available for purchase at the show for everyone.

There will be a wide variety of live music both days. Acts scheduled to perform this year are Dan & Galla Musical Show, Wave Radio, Andrew Lipke and the Azrael String Quartet, Mason Porter, Bill Rose from The Rose Project, Trevon Raines, Hell Saddle, Gretchen Emery and Dirty Boots,

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Chadds Ford Historical Society hosts Chadds Ford Days this weekend — one of the area’s most looked forward to events.

There are two things that you can count on to happen the weekend after Labor Day — the weather will be very hot and sunny and the Chadds Ford Historical Society will be hosting its annual event known as Chadds Ford Days (John Chads House, Route 100, Chadds Ford, 610-388-7376, www.chaddsfordhistory.org).

This year, the well-attended festival, which will be held on September 6 and 7 in the meadow behind the CFHS building on Route 100 in Chadds Ford, will feature an art show and a craft show with over 60 traditional artisans selling their wares. There will also be a variety of colonial craft demonstrations presented each day.

Festival attendees will be able to watch Revolutionary War re-enactments by The 2nd PA Regiment of the Continental Line, get a libation at a colonial tavern, watch a puppet show and take tours of the John Chads House and the Barns-Brinton House — both of which date back to the early 1700s.

The outdoor event, which is celebrating its 49th anniversary this year, also features food booths presented by local restaurants, Colonial demonstrators, children’s activities, an antique car show andlive musical entertainment.

There will be also be a full slate of live music both days featuring Hale and Jarema Duo, Next Wednesday Trio, The Sermon, the Steve Liberace Band, McGraw & McLaughlin and Steppin Razor.

Tickets are $5 for adults with free admission for kids and dogs and free parking.

The annual Brandywine Festival of the Arts (North Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-363-5955, www.brandywinearts.com) has been one of the most popular late-summer events in northern Delaware for a long, long time.

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The Brandywine Festival of the Arts this weekend in Wilmington, Del. offers a wide variety of crafts and foods.

The 54th annual two-day staging of the arts-and-crafts festival is slated for September 6 and 7 at its usual location along the banks of the Brandywine River in Wilmington. Tickets are $5 for adults with children (under 10) admitted free.

As always, the festival is a juried event that brings more than 200 artists and crafters from more than 15 states to Brandywine Park’s Josephine Gardens to exhibit and sell their work. The list of featured categories includes lamps, ironwork, herbs, bonsai, wood type, glass, acrylic, weaving, stenciling, pastels, scarves, mixed-media, clothing, bears, stoneware, watercolors, etchings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, raku, and leather.

There will also be vendors offering a wide variety of food items at the festival, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.

The roster of food vendors includes Fat Ricks BBQ, Koi on the Go, SAS Cupcakes, Food for Thought, Home Grown Café, Bella Vista Trattoria, Sausage King and Olevano Olive Oil.

Live entertainment will be featured both days. Musicians performing at the festival are Nancy Heubner, Robbi Kumalo, Splashing Pearls, Mosno Al-Moseeki, RKVC, Justin Tracy, Shane Palko & Friends, Michelle Ley, Jessica Graae, Rachel Schain and Stephen and Zooey.

Barrel of Makers, a Wilmington-based creative collaborative community, will offer an 8-foot by 8-foot template for a giant version of Lite-Brite, a toy that was introduced by Hasbro in 1967.

Visitors will be able to fill an 8-by-8-inch pegboard with colored pegs in their own design. Each square will be mounted onto the large template, which will be backlit by fluorescent tubes. Barrel of Makers is looking for constructive feedback so it can refine its project before taking it to the World Maker Faire in New York City later this month.

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Chester County’s own Victory Brewing will be among the many brewers showing their wares at the Delaware River Craft Brewfest in Chester and the Historic Odessa Brewfest in Delaware this weekend.

This is the perfect weather for drinking beer — and also the perfect weather to stage a brewfest. Fortunately for all you beer lovers out there, there are two good local festivals focusing on beer in this weekend.

The initial staging of the Delaware River Craft Brewfest (PPL Park, One Stadium Drive, Chester, 610-859-3100, http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/ppl-park/craft-brew-fest) will be held on September 6 with a “VIP Session” running from 2-6 p.m. and a General Session taking place from 3-6 p.m.

The Delaware River Craft Brewfest will feature live music and entertainment, gourmet food options and more than 100 different beers. The event offers the opportunity to partake in a sampling of the best crafts, imports and ciders from the United States and around the world.

Ticket prices, which are $60 for the VIP Session and $45 for the General Session, include a souvenir tasting cup marked with a 2 oz. pour line. Tickets are $10 for “Designated Drivers” and there is free parking for all.

Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company will be featuring four specialty beers — Hop Ticket Dry Hopped Pilsner, Hop Ticket Noble IPA, Otto Oak Aged and Red Thunder. Some of the other participating breweries are West Chester’s Boxcar Brewing, Rogue from Newport, Oregon, San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, Dixie Brewing from New Orleans and Belgium’s Hoegaarden.

You can also be part of history if you attend the Historic Odessa Brewfest (202 Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, http://www.odessabrewfest.com) because it is the inaugural staging of the event. The Brewfest, which is being presented by the Historic Odessa Foundation and Cantwell’s Tavern, is slated for September 6 from 2-6 p.m.

There will be an array of tasty locally-produced food served at Cantwell’s, which is a farm-to-table gastropub. The cheese boutique Middletown’s Fromage will have plates of cheeses that will be paired with different styles of beer and wine.

More than 45 local and national breweries are participating, including Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, Twin Lakes Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Evil Genius Beer Company, Troegs Independent Craft Brewery, Shiner Beers and Seattle’s Elysian Brewery.

Rich Wagner, who is a beer connoisseur, historian and Colonial re-enactor, will demonstrate the brewing process from start to finish — a process he describes as spinning straw into gold.

All attendees have access to food and merchandise vendors, live bands, sponsor tables, and more during the entire event. Doors open at noon for the (sold-out) VIP Tasting and the regular fest is slated to start at 2 p.m. All taps will close at 6 p.m.

General admission tickets are $45. The cost for designated drivers is $10 and includes food and free soft drinks.

One of the nicest low-key events in late summer in the area is the annual Barclay Friends’ Festival of Gardens (locations in downtown West Chester, 610-696-5211, www.bf.kendal.org).

This event is a garden tour that features a variety of scenic gardens created by residents of West Chester Borough. Held in different sections of the Borough of West Chester each year, the Festival of Gardens is annual event that benefits the Barclay Friends’ Horticultural Therapy program.

This year, the 10th Annual Festival of Gardens will be held on September 6 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The tour will visit a variety of private gardens in the south central neighborhood of the borough of West Chester. During the tour, local artists can be found working in many of the gardens.

Garden Tour participants will also have the opportunity to view Barclay Friends’ gardens and attend a plant sale at Barclay Friends. The plant sale of uncommon plants will be held at Barclay Friends from noon-4 p.m. Refreshments will be served by Barclay Friends family members.

Tickets are not required for the plant sale and refreshments. Tour tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the event.

On September 7, the Uwchlan Township Historical Commission (21 North Village Avenue, Lionville, 610-524-9396, http://www.uwchlan.com), will host a pair of Open Houses at local historic sites — the John Cadwalader House (circa 1711) and the Edith P. Moore School House.

Both of the historic structures are located on North Village Avenue off of Route 113 in the Lionville National Historic District. The Lionville National Historic District encompasses areas along both North and South Village Avenues.

Additionally, the 1756 Uwchlan Meeting House, which is located at 5 North Village Avenue in Lionville, will be open to the public from 2-4 p.m.

A new self-guided tour of the area has been published by UTHC and is available at the Uwchlan Township Administration Building at 715 North Ship Road or during the visiting hours at the Cadwalader House or E.P. Moore Schoolhouse. Located in the Cadwalader House is the Frances Matthews Library, where historical documents from the Township’s past are archived.

Uwchlan Township Historical Commission was founded in 1975 to promote historic preservation within the township and in conjunction with the National Bicentennial celebration. The Edith P. Moore School House and the Cadwalader House are open the first Sunday each month from April to November.

A few years ago in the summer of 2012, the Delmarva Historic Haunts performed an investigation of the spirits of the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation (Ridley Creek State Park, Media,

It marked the first time a paranormal investigation had been conducted on the 18th-century farm buildings. On September 6, the investigators will share the results of their findings with the public with tours at 8 and 11 p.m.

They will lead each group from building to building and describe their findings at each stop. The investigators have declared the site haunted and their special tours this weekend and two-and-one-half hours long.

Participants are advised to be cautious — and to bring a flashlight — because they will be in darkened rooms with low light levels and walking on some uneven paths. Investigations are held rain or shine. All tickets are $25 and reservations are required.

The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation is an 18th-century living history farm museum located within Ridley Creek State Park. It is most easily reached via the park’s Route 3 entrance just west of Newtown Square.

Now through September 7, the Broomall Fire Company is hosting the Majestic Midways Carnival (Malin Road and West Chester Pike, Broomall, 610-353-5225,http://www.broomallfirecompany.com/pages/carnival.html).

The event features free admission but there is a cost for the rides. Individual tickets $1.50 each and are sold in quantities of two tickets. Riders can purchase a block of 25 tickets for $25 or a block of 56 tickets for $50.

The carnival is scheduled to get underway on September 5 at 6 p.m. and run until 11 p.m. Hours for Saturday are 3-11 p.m. and then the event will be open from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Majestic Midways, which is based in York, has been providing amusement rides and games for carnivals for 105 years. Some of the company’s more popular rides are Ring of Fire, Century Wheel, Kite Flyer, Raiders, Monkey Mayhem, Super Shot and Himalaya.

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Shire, Mount Hope Estate and Winery grounds, Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.parenfaire.com) is hosting its “Children’s Fantasy” on September 6 and 7. From 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day, the huge faire will be dedicated to youngsters.

His Royal Highness proclaims a Faire weekend dedicated to its biggest fans — the young one. There will be two days filled with 16th-century fun and frivolity for kids of all ages.

At “Cake with Queen Catherine,” kids can celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday by sharing her favorite pastry — cupcakes. At the Queen’s request, all young nipperkins are invited to have a delicious dessert with herand wish the Queen happy birthday face-to-face. Another popular attraction will be the “Four Corners Treasure Hunt” where kidssearch for pirate treasure.

Special entertainment for the two-day event includes “Circus Stella” (a one-ring family circus), “Fool Hearty” (a funny family-oriented activity) and “Joffrey the Giant” (an oversized artist who creates animals, wands, hats, bows and arrows, flowers and more from balloons).

Live entertainment will also be provided by Royal Performers, including Archery Through the Ages, Ash Cary the Royal Falconer, Barby Holder, Duo of Woo, Harper Lee, Hypnotist Rick Stratton, Mirandola Fanfare, The Mud Squad, Noble Cause Productions, Pastimes, Righteous Blackguards, Shelli Buttons, Sir Isaac Fawlkes, Tartanic and Tilda Morning.

Admission is $29.95 for adults. There will be free children’s admission for kids age 11 and under.

The calendar for the weekend after Labor Day always features the Hay Creek Fall Festival at Historic Johanna Furnace (Route 10, Morgantown, 610-286-0388, www.haycreek.org). The well-attended Berks County festival, which is an authentic traditional arts and crafts show, is also an event that gives visitors a chance to have a look back at the area’s historical development.

This year, the festival, which is celebrating its 38th anniversary, will have a number of special festival areas, including Charcoal Barn, Casting House, Festival Food Court (early American and contemporary), Early American Crafts, Engine and Mechanical Technology, a Civil War Encampment, Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Home Craft Marketplace and the Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Plantation Complex.

Festival attendees can shop in the Early American Crafts area for such items as fabrics, jewelry, folk art, pottery, woodworking, leather, dried flowers, woodcrafts, Windsor chairs, stained glass and hand-woven rugs. The Craft Market will feature handmade redware pottery, candles and hand lotions, gourd birdhouses, soaps, wooden toys and bowls, handbags from vintage fabrics, quilted items and unique jewelry.

The Mechanical Technology area presents vintage working equipment, including a model steam blower engine and a display of pedal tractors. Hundreds of antique cars, tractors, and hit n’ miss engines are on display and will parade the festival grounds throughout the weekend. There will also be daily demonstrations of sawmilling, shingle milling, grain threshing and water ram pumps.

Other activities include live entertainment, storytelling sessions, musical jam sessions and a variety of hands-on activities for children. This year’s roster of entertainers includes Marian Gehman, Randini the Remarkable, Cousin Jake and Phyllis Hummel. Tickets for the festival are $10 for adults and $2 for children (ages 6-12).

For a fun day of interesting and educational activities, head to Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia on September 6 to take part in the 2014 Pennsylvania Coast Day (Penn’s Landing, Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, 800-445-4935,www.delawareestuary.org).

The fun family event is slated to run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the site along the Delaware River. The free event provides visitors with a variety of ways to experience Philadelphia’s main water tributary. Attendees can board the RiverLink Ferry for a free, round-trip tour of the Delaware River or get an up-close look at the river by paddling around Penn’s Landing in a kayak or swan boat.

There will also be a number of land-based activities including more than 20 interactive displays and children’s activities near the RiverLink Ferry terminal. The Pennsylvania Tug Boat Festival is scheduled for 1 p.m. There will also be free tours of Delaware River fire boats and an oil-spill cleanup boat.

Other aquatic attractions are located at or within walking distance of the festival area — including the Independence Seaport Museum, Spruce Street Harbor Park, WetLand floating sculpture and Adventure Aquarium.

This is the time of year when you can experience the culture and cuisine of nations from all around the globe without needing a passport — or even having to travel very far. This weekend, you have two options — Greek and Polish.

The Fall Grecian Festival 2012 (St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 900 S. Trooper Road, Jeffersonville, 610-650-8960, www.stsophiavf.org) runs now through September 7 with a wide array of tasty Greek treats such as souvlaki, shish-ka-bob, moussaka, pastitsio and gyros and baklava. Other activities include midway rides, vendors with crafts and Greek items and live Greek music.

The 49th Annual Polish Festival the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (654 Ferry Road, Doylestown, 215-345-0600, www.czestochowa.us) is running now through September 7. Visitors to the festival will be able to feast on such Polish delicacies as kielbasa, pierogis, holubki and chruschicki. The festival will feature rides, games and a full slate of Polish music and polka bands.

If you want to attend the Brandywine Valley Association’s annual Jam on the Brandywine (Brandywine Valley Association grounds, Route 842 near Northbrook Road, West Chester, 610-793-1090,http://www.brandywinewatershed.org) , now is the time to purchase your tickets — for several reasons.

Even though the music festival is still a few weeks away — September 20 from noon-9 p.m. — you’re making a smart move if you buy your tickets now. It assures you entry to the festival even if tickets sell out at a later date — which they frequently do. And, tickets are $10 if purchased in advance and $20 if purchased after the pre-sale cutoff at noon on September 17.

The popular open air music event will be held at the Brandywine Valley Association’s scenic outdoor amphitheater at the Myrick Conservation Center, which is located on Route 842 just west of West Chester. The exact address to feed your GPS is — 1760 Unionville-Wawaset Road, West Chester, 19382.

The gates are set to will open at 11 a.m. with the music scheduled to run from noon-9 p.m. Visitors can bring their own picnic lunches or purchase food and beverage items at concession booths. It is listed as a B.Y.O.B. event.

The nine acts on the bill for this year’s one-day music festival are Uncle Jimmy, Cameltones, Gnasty Girls, Special Delivery, Spokey Speaky, Double Dose, Apache Trails, Brad Newsom & Friends and Endeavor to Perservere.There will also be acoustic sets by Nancy Micciulla, O’Brien Brothers, Sam Smick, Calabrese Sisters and Steve Pepper.

The event, which also features children’s nature activities, is held each year as a benefit for BVA with proceeds used to promote the conservation and enjoyment of the natural resources in the Brandywine Watershed.

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